To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what changes there have been in the social background of children in secondary level education in the bottom quartile for educational attainment from 2007 to 2017.
The percentage of disadvantaged pupils, in state-funded schools, in the bottom quartile of Attainment 8 points for 2014/15 - 2016/17 is given in the attached table, along with the percentage of disadvantaged pupils in all state-funded schools for comparison.
In order to accurately identify the bottom quartile of pupils, an attainment measure with sufficient granularity is required. The Department’s current headline attainment measure (Attainment 8) provides this but was only introduced in 2014/15. There is no current headline attainment measure with data available that is comparable over the requested period (2007 to 2017).
 A pupil is classed as disadvantaged if they are known to have been eligible for free school meals in the past six years, if they are recorded as having been looked after for at least one day or if they are recorded as having been adopted from care.
 State-funded schools include academies, free schools, city technology colleges, further education colleges with provision for 14 to 16 year olds and state-funded special schools. They exclude independent schools, independent special schools, non-maintained special schools, hospital schools and alternative provision.
 As numerous pupils can share the same score, splitting the cohort into precise quartiles is not possible. In 2014/15, 26.1% of pupils were included in the ‘bottom quartile’, in 2015/16 it was 26.0% and in 2016/17 it was 25.3%. This will have some effect on the proportions of disadvantaged pupils, as relatively fewer pupils are included in later years, but the nature of that effect cannot be definitively stated.